Today’s consumer is flooded with messages attempting to grab their attention and place a particular product or service first and foremost in their minds. Methods of advertising that may have been effective in the past are, in many cases, actually counterproductive. The sad truth is that many businesses continue to market and advertise as they have for years without determining if they are getting a reasonable return on investment. Today’s customers are far more sophisticated. They don’t want to be blasted with advertising; they want valuable information provided to them. Information seminars are a great method for accomplishing this outcome. Regardless of whether you are a start up business or an established corporation, information seminars can increase your visibility and revenues with an extremely high return on investment. Prior to developing a seminar there are steps you must take in order to assure the success of your event. First, determine your market. You cannot be everything to everyone and you will want to present information to those who would want to do business with you in the future. If you are not sure how to determine your market, simply email me at for a worksheet that will assist you in this area. The next step is to discover what information interests your market. Send a survey to your clients and contacts. Ask what publications they read, associations they are involved with, their business and personal interests, etc. Once you have identified your market’s areas of interest, you can develop a topic specific to their needs. For example, a chiropractor could prepare a presentation on stress management. A real estate agent could offer seminars on how to increase one’s net worth through home purchases. If you own a specialty gift shop, present creative gift giving ideas to your audience. The topics are only limited by your imagination. The size of your sessions will be determined by your market. My business associate, Lori Giovannoni, and I have offered various types and sizes of information seminars. Some seminars are open to the public with 100 – 200 people in attendance. There are also “by invitation only” gatherings with as few as 6 people in attendance. Often companies hire us to facilitate sessions for their clients. Regardless of the group size, our goal has always been to go above and beyond the expectations of seminar participants. Even on a limited budget you can meet and exceed your participant’s expectations. Do not, however, make the mistake of cutting costs in the wrong area. Trying to keeps costs down is understandable, but keep in mind the image you will be conveying. There are many ways to offset costs without detriment to your professional image. One way to offset costs is to partner with other businesses who share a similar market. Both companies will benefit by the exposure and potential new business. Choose a location that will convey a professional atmosphere yet is accessible to your market. Do not choose a location that is hard to find or looks unprofessional. Don’t skimp on your promotional materials. I’m sure most of us have seen a promotional piece that looks like it was designed by a third grader. Don’t justify poor design and quality by trying to keep costs down. The fact is, by keeping your costs down in this way, you may be losing potential business. These materials will leave the seminar and provide an image of your company. Make sure they are professional and the information is useful to the participant. Another area to consider is the handout you will have during the presentation. This is yet another key to a successful information seminar. Make sure you provide valuable information in a usable format. Use the learning guide to list your services and contact information. Don’t forget one last, important step: gather contact information from your attendees. Many companies miss this key step. If people took the time to show up, obviously they are interested in your product or service. Don’t miss the chance to keep them informed about future opportunities you provide. Gain visibility for your company while providing a valuable service. Either way you look at it, information seminars create a win/win situation for both you and your clients.

Author's Bio: 

Discover success insights from experts around the globe who are out there making a difference and making a great living in the process. Kathleen Gage interviews the best of the best with Power Up for Profits Podcast.